The DL - Season 2, Episode 8 Economic Development
In the latest episode of The DL, Diesel Laptops Founder and CEO, Tyler Robertson, is joined by Kim Mann, Manager of Existing Industry at the Richland County Economic Development Office.
Before getting into the episode it is worth noting here that this particular episode was recorded in August (most episodes are recorded in advance.) It marked the first time a live guest was back in the studio for a podcast recording, which was a welcome change for Tyler.
“I am really tired of doing Zoom conference calls. After doing nothing but that… I missed going out and actually visiting... I never thought I'd say I miss going to travel and doing trade shows but, I miss it.” - Tyler Robertson
What is an Economic Development Office?
From their website: “The Richland County Economic Development Office (RCEDO) works to expand, diversify and sustain the local economy by assisting companies that provide meaningful job opportunities and generate new wealth for its citizens”
As Kim explains it, most people think of economic development as bringing companies in and “wooing” them to your county. However, attracting new companies is only part of an economic development office’s function. The other half is taking care of existing companies and helping them to succeed.
“...not only do we [want to] concentrate on bringing new companies in but we want to concentrate on the existing industry we have. Once they're here, we want to make sure they prosper, they grow, they have all the resources that they need and, and, and we can be a good steward to them.” - Kim Mann
What Services do Economic Development Offices provide?
Services for both prospective companies and site selection consultants include:
- Providing updated demographic and workforce data on Richland County and the Columbia MSA
- Arranging site tours to include available sites and buildings, interviews with existing companies, and meetings with key community leaders
- Negotiating incentive proposals
- Being a clearinghouse for all community data necessary for companies to make their site selection decision
Why use an Economic Development Office?
Economic Development Offices offer valuable information and resources for you to use as a business owner that can save you time and money.
“I make no bones about it, I seriously have left a lot of money on the table and probably would have helped my business way more if I would engage earlier, but hindsight's always 20/20.” - Tyler Robertson